classes: pretty paper. true stories. {and scrapbooking classes with cupcakes.}

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Online Scrapbooking Class :: True Stories - Journaling for Scrapbookers and Bloggers

Online Scrapbooking Class :: True Stories - Journaling for Scrapbookers and Bloggers
Online Scrapbooking Class :: True Stories - Journaling for Scrapbookers and Bloggers

For a long time, scrapbooking (and even the odd scrapbooking class) was something I did in my spare time, not my every day. The spare time when I was not in my more traditional classroom, teaching English to teenagers. The spare time I needed to kick back after being my most energetic and my most creative in finding ways to get those very teenagers to embrace things like reading and writing as useful and enjoyable rather than just required.

Now that scrapbooking is my every day, there is part of me that misses that very core of my curriculum and the excitement at seeing someone realise that perhaps writing has an unwarranted bad rap. Discovering that really, putting pen to paper can be an exercise in being in complete control of your world and saying things exactly how you want to say them and better yet – saying them in a way that anyone else could pick them up and understand you completely.

I’ve said it many times: to me, scrapbooking is pretty paper and true stories. I’ve taught plenty of classes about the pretty paper. This time, we’re going to focus on True Stories.

True Stories is an online class that starts on the 25th of October, but it can be completed at any time. It lasts three weeks, with fifteen full-colour PDF prompts delivered straight to your inbox, Mondays through Fridays. From the beginning, there is absolutely no way to ‘fall behind’ or ‘not finish’ because it’s not that kind of class. You can follow along by working on a prompt each day if you would like, but you can also keep the prompts as a reference for when they come in useful for your own scrapbooking, blogging or other story-telling needs.

True Stories covers fifteen different ways to approach your story and commit it to paper. You can use these prompts as a scrapbooker and see your journaling evolve to something that will be a treasure to read. You can use the prompts as a blogger to make your entries feel like honest, unique and compelling tales. Or you can just use them in general as a collection of ways to add a bit more excitement to your writing if you’re feeling like you’re in a rut of writing the same way on every project.

True Stories is a natural complement to all the classes I offer here at If you loved Something from Almost Nothing, you’ll love that the prompts include scrapbook pages you can create with the supplies you already have on hand. If you loved Blogging for Scrapbookers, these topics will push your writing another step, and we all know that a successful blog can be just as much about the way something is said rather than just what is mentioned. If you love Journal your Christmas but would like to expand your written memories of the season, this will do just that. And if you have been working on scrapping your own story with a class like You Think You Know Me or My Freedom, then there is a lot of content here that would be a happy match to writing from your own memory (though it’s not a requirement of True Stories to just write about yourself). This natural complement is why it doesn’t matter when you take this class or if you use it in the order the prompts are delivered or instead choose to keep it all as one reference and dip into the materials whenever they are most useful for you.

True Stories includes my own notes, scrapbook pages and writing exercises in each prompt, but there are also many special guests. On the crafty side of things, a different scrapbooking star (or two!) will join us in each prompt to share their spin on storytelling — they will share a new layout with you as well as their thoughts on writing. On the writing side, I’ll be joined by Relly Annett-Baker (twitter | bio), who travels around the world teaching corporations and designers how to get the most from words. And she’s a scrapbooker! So she’s the perfect balance — she’s a technical expert with a love of this same hobby we all share. She’ll be sharing her own tips and exercises to bring it all together – and Relly has a wicked sense of humour too! I can’t wait to show you what all these great contributors have helped me build for you, and I just love the variety of backgrounds that we’ve all come from while coming together to share one love: scrapbooks that tell beautiful stories.

True Stories also includes a private forum for class participants to discuss and share their work, including a section for getting feedback on your writing if you would like to share your journaling with others, or the option to submit your writing for feedback privately if you would rather just have some tips from the course leaders rather than share with everyone in the class. Like all classes, True Stories includes permanent access to all the class materials so you can return to the prompts and discussions at absolutely any time.

Ready to sign up? You can sign up at any time and you can choose to pay in UK Pounds or US Dollars. If neither of those is your currency, you can choose whichever you prefer – you don’t need to do anything special to change the currency from your account.

You can pay by credit/debit card (click on the left of the payment screen) or Paypal account (log in on the right of the payment screen). The email address on your Paypal account is where your class materials will be sent by default, so please be sure this is a valid email address. If you would like your prompts sent to a different email address, you can enter this email in the ‘notes to seller’ field or you can send me an email (shimelle at gmail dot com) and let me know if you miss that step.

Class starts on the 25th of October but you can sign up at any time (even if you are reading this later than the 25th). Please be aware that your class registration is processed by an actual person (me!) and that means there will be a short wait before you receive your information. It’s never more than a day and usually much, much less, but I do try to make a habit of sleeping once per day, in general.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me or ask in the comments on this post.

I’m so excited to write with all of you — especially since you’ll never have homework deadlines which means I’ll never give any detentions!


Two frequently asked questions

two frequently asked questions
minibook for Learn Something New

Just a quick answer to a frequently asked question for this week of the year — can I still sign up for Learn Something New even though it started on the first of September?

Yes. You can sign up at any time and have full access to all the materials, plus it’s a permanent membership so you can continue to participate as many years as you like at no extra cost. You can choose to start our album on any day and use the prompts for any month of the year – they are not specific to September.

making tags with scrap papers

And the other popular question — do I need anything specific in terms of supplies?

No. It’s all about using what you have and love and working in a format that is fun for you. This year I’m working with tags and envelopes, and this process of taking bits and pieces from my scrap basket was the start of my album. We also have scrappers creating their books in 4×4, 6×6, 5×7, 4×6 and 8×8 formats, in both paper and pixels. Others use their blogs for their daily entries, write notes in a journal or take a photo each day. You are welcome to use exactly what’s best for you!

You can find all the class details here.

Next week I’ll share some of my favourite Learn Something New blogs with you too — you won’t want to miss the fab projects being posted around the web!


Class starts tomorrow :: Join us!

class starts tomorrow :: join us!
online scrapbooking class :: Learn Something New

It’s the last day of August already? Well, that lovely three-day weekend was brilliant and now there are only hours left until it is officially September. But I’m always excited for September as it’s the start of Learn Something New, an online class that lasts all month. And if you can write one sentence per day (even if it’s on your phone or on a bit of scrap paper), you can keep up with this project! Click here to find all the details and sign up!

A few pre-class blog posts have popped up from various participants already. I love this story of someone who paid it forward by anonymously gifting a class membership is so very sweet and inspiring. I love these photos that Christina took to get her in the mood and ready to learn this September! This handmade album by Connie is a fab mix of paper pockets and fabric – I can’t wait to see it come to life (and she’s used super lush papers from Studio Calico that I love). Alissa has repurposed an old book and it looks dreamy! And check out these projects started by Pascale, Tina, Sarah, Chris, Cal, Dolly and Sarah. I absolutely love how everyone adapts this project to a style that is all their own, no matter if it’s something simple or something oh-so-intricate.

You can join at any time but you don’t want to be late, so sign up now and be ready for your first day back to school! Or invite a friend to join you. Class starts tomorrow, the first of September! Click here for the full class details.


A new online scrapbooking class :: Love your Pictures, Love your Pages

online scrapbooking class

Ready for a summer scrapbooking adventure? I hope you’ll join me for a new online scrapbooking class here at!

Love your Pictures, Love your Pages is a four-week, high-energy journey through July. Each week we’ll be taking pictures and scrapbooking and putting it all together to make something you love.

Starting on Monday, the 5th of July 2010, full-colour PDF prompts come straight to your inbox. There are six prompts each week: the first three focus on photography and the last three focus on scrapbooking — but of course the two go hand in hand!

This is not a technical photography class. There are plenty of amazing classes already out there with people far more qualified to take you through the technical parts of your camera. Instead, we’ll be focusing on options for creative photographs — the kind of pictures that really inspire you to get scrapping. You don’t need a super-fancy camera to take part. The class prompts will show sample images from point-and-shoot cameras, dSLR cameras, toy cameras and mobile phone cameras. No matter what you’re using, you’ll find something just right!

As we start to scrapbook those photos, you can craft with paper or pixels! If you’re new to my classes, it’s worth knowing that there’s never a set of ‘do it exactly like this’ instructions. The class materials encourage you to use the supplies you have on hand and adapt any of the ideas to suit your own style. Of course, if you want to recreate things exactly as you see them, you’re welcome to do that too! Classmates share their work, creating even more inspiration to kickstart your creativity — it’s one of my very favourite things about hosting classes here.

The scrapbooking prompts give you the option of creating stand-alone layouts to go into your existing albums or you can create an album dedicated just to photos you take this summer. Most of the sample pages are 12×12 and can be adapted easily if you would like to work in a mini-book size for this project.

Here’s a look at exactly what’s included in Love your Pictures, Love your Pages:
…24 full-colour PDF prompts delivered straight to your inbox, Monday through Saturday.
…3 resource workbooks: A Month of Sketches with a full complement of detailed page sketches for your scrapping, Camera Basics with an overview of technical basics on a variety of cameras and Photoshop Magic with step-by-step instructions for some of my favourite photo-editing techniques. (Photoshop definitely isn’t required for this class — but this workbook can be useful if you do have it or you install a free trial download.)
…Exclusive designs in printable format for paper scrappers and image formats for digital scrappers
…Members-only access to chat and share your work with other participants, including a special section dedicated to helping you with specific shots you would like to kick up a notch
…Permanent archive of all class materials so you can participate whenever fits your schedule and know everything is always available for you in just a few clicks
…-Special members only discounts to some of my favourite places, including Digital Photography School and Totally Rad Actions.- (Unfortunately these discounts have now expired.)

In total, the class comes in at just under 200 pages of material, even before we start talking on the message boards! You can sign up any time in your choice of currencies: £16 GB Pounds or $24 US dollars. Just click the image to join us:

Class starts on the 5th of July and the message board will open a few days before that — you’ll receive an email with all the details on how to sign in once the board opens!

Do keep in mind that the email address you use when you pay is the only way I can get in touch with you, so do make sure it’s a valid email that you can read. If you would like your prompts sent a different email than the one you use to pay, leave a note on your payment (or send me an email if you forget – shimelle at gmail dot com).

Any questions, just ask! And watch for a few sneak peeks of both the photo and scrappy sides of the project as the starting day draws near!

I’d love to see you in class!


Thank you.

handmade card with banana frog stamps

Thank you so much for the fabulous response to my new class. I have been bowled over by the great things friends new and old have been saying about their new commitment to using what they have so their hobby can be about crafting and remembering again rather than feeling overwhelmed by products! I love it so much when you get a group of people who really love to scrap all together at once. The atmosphere is lovely, even when you’re seeing them via a computer screen!

You can still sign up for the class at any time.

I’ll be back to blogging more in just a day or two! (And in the mean time you can see a little more about this card at the Frog Blog.)

Happy scrapping!


A Sneak Peak at Something from Almost Nothing

pages from a new online scrapbooking class

Here’s a little look at just three of the projects guest artists have contributed to my new online scrapbook class, Something from Almost Nothing. Any guesses on who these guests might be? You’re going to love their ideas for creating new looks from your existing collection of scrapbooking supplies. They will even hold your virtual hand when you cut into a sheet of patterned paper, if that will help!

Class starts next Wednesday, the 10th of March, and you can sign up by clicking either payment button below or check out this post for all the details about the class! You can sign up at any time. Registration may take up to 24 hours – usually much less.


A new online scrapbooking class :: Something from Almost Nothing

a new online scrapbooking class :: something from almost nothing
Sometimes I am not so sure how I amassed quite so much scrapbooking stuff. When did I go from A few buttons would be useful to I can never have too many? When did the singular ribbon jar become the plural ribbon jars, sorted by colours of the rainbow? And patterned paper? Just possibly, I have quite a bit of that indeed.

The truth is that having a great deal of supplies isn’t something to get me down. Having them and not using them is an entirely different matter. So I invite you to join me for an online class in March: Something from Almost Nothing.

a new online scrapbooking class :: something from almost nothing

Throughout this class we’ll be focusing on getting more from the stash we have already acquired, no matter what your personal product of choice may be. We’ll go through a range of products you already have on hand and put them to use in new ways. We’ll step away from just gluing or stitching on a button and build something new. Plus it’s not just buttons we’ll be moving from stash to completed pages; we’ll also put stickers, ribbons, transparencies, papers, page protectors, chipboard and other supplies to work too. You won’t need to have specific supplies to follow along: we’ll focus on what you do have and offer plenty of alternatives along the way.

During the three weeks of class prompts, you’re invited to follow along and build an album entitled Celebrate Life. You can create this book in any page size you like with supplies you have on hand, and each prompt includes a page sketch and technique to help build the page as well as photography and journaling pointers to help with the complete album. But the class doesn’t end with just this album: each prompt includes a range of other techniques to try and projects to make. You can take inspiration from these at any time, just like a book or magazine.

I’m very excited that more than a dozen of my favourite scrapbookers will be joining me as guest artists for this class, and I’ll tell you a little more about them as we get closer to the first day of class.

a new online scrapbooking class :: something from almost nothing

Something from Almost Nothing includes:
…more than 60 pages of full-colour class materials, including work from guest artists and illustrated steps for more complex techniques
…3 video tutorials
…a live chat session
…printable accents for album project (purchased separately, these come to $9.90)
…bonus journaling and photography prompts for your Celebrate Life album.

Like all online scrapbooking classes at, this class includes
…permanent access to all class materials
…private forum for discussion and sharing your work
…prompts delivered straight to your inbox.

Class begins Wednesday, the 10th of March, with prompts delivered by email on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until the end of the month. You can sign up at any time. Registration may take up to 24 hours – usually much less.

To sign up, just click! You can pay by in your choice of currency: £10 pounds sterling or $15 US dollars.

You’ll find additional class information and sneak peeks posted here on between now and the 10th of March, so don’t be a stranger!

I hope to see you in class!


Christmas Journals I am loving this year

Christmas Journal

My Christmas Journal currently looks something like this, a mix of the 15 pages I’ve created so far and spaces for 8×8 TTV photos on each facing page. I started printing those at home and it took a few days to make me realise just how much I was going to spend on ink and paper for those 8×8 prints when I knew I could order them all in one go, so now I am choosing one photo each day and will have them all printed together at the end of my journal in January.

I love seeing new journals come to life on the class forum and in blog posts. I always wish I had made a book just like one of those. I wish that about fifteen times a day! So it’s a good thing I can keep coming back to this project I suppose!

Here are some of my blogland favourites so far! Click each picture to see more pages.

Christmas Scrapbook by Sam
digital Christmas scrapbook by Bernie
Christmas scrapbook by SJ
Christmas scrapbook by Alissa
Christmas scrapbook by Rachel

Oooh, don’t you just wish you could flip through all those pages in a comfy chair with a gorgeous cup of hot chocolate? Love these and many more!